Renowned Black Journalist and PBS Anchor Gwen Ifill Dies at 61

The respected journalist will be sorely missed in media

Gwen Ifill
Image: Flickr.com/PBS Newshour

After a long battle with cancer, PBS NewsHour TV anchor Gwen Ifill passed away on Monday at the age of 61.

Ifill served as a co-host of NewsHour since 2013, along with Judy Woodruff. The veteran journalist also hosted PBS’ Washington Week. However, ongoing health issues prevented Ifill from covering the 2016 election last week. She also took a temporary leave of absence from the independent public network back in May.

PBS’ President and CEO Paula Kerger released a statement, describing the respected reporter as “one of America’s leading lights in journalism, and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” according to People.

In a statement, PBS NewsHour executive producer Sara Just called Ifill “a standard bearer for courage, fairness, and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” reports Politico.

Just also reflected on Ifill’s commitment to giving back and mentoring younger journalists, saying, “She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her.”

Ifill, a prominent political journalist, moderated two vice presidential debates; the 2004 vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards and the 2008 vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Last year, she moderated one of the primary debates between Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2009, Ifill authored the bestselling book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. She began her career in journalism working as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Boston Herald American. She then went on to work for The Washington Post and The New York Times.

A number of reporters and elected officials, including Tamron Hall and Chuck Todd, expressed their grief over Ifill’s death on Twitter:



4 Responses to Renowned Black Journalist and PBS Anchor Gwen Ifill Dies at 61

  1. Rosetta Street says:

    I have watched Qwen for many years. I will missed the talent she brought to the news mediabroadcast . Rest in Peace Qwen!#

  2. Chichitwelve says:

    I’m not normally a public responder, but gwen ifill has changed my life, & will be desperately missed, rest in peace❤

  3. Jeffrey Carolina says:

    She will be missed. I am hugh fan of PBS and Gwen . Rest in Peace.

  4. Sharon Jones says:

    I did not know Ms Gwen Ifill, but I certainly respect her talent. She certainly was a role model to me and really taught me about politics. I will certainly miss her, but I’m greatful for her willingness to teach and share her knowledge. I only wish I had the opportunity to had met her.

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